The Impact of Immunodeficiency on NK Cell Maturation and Function
Purpose of Review
Natural killer cells are innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) that play critical roles in human host defense and are especially useful in combating viral pathogens and malignancy.
The NK cell deficiency (NKD) is particularly underscored in patients with a congenital immunodeficiency in which NK cell development or function is affected. The classical NK cell deficiency (cNKD) is a result of absent or a profound decrease in the number of circulating NK cells. In contrast, functional NKD (fNKD) is characterized by abnormal NK cell function but with normal number of NK cells. The combined immune deficiencies with significant impact on NK cells are not considered classical or functional NK cell deficiencies. In these disorders, the impairment of NK cells represents an important aspect of the overall immunodeficiency. In turn, this leads to improved insights on the NK cell development and function.
Here, we detail the NK cell biology based upon recent natural killer cell defects described in combined immune deficiencies.
KeywordsNatural killer cells NK cell deficiency
We acknowledge Dr. Emily Mace, for her critical review of the manuscript.
Chao Physician Scientist Junior Faculty Award, Baylor College of Medicine
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: •• Of major importance
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